India’s Black Money 2011: Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee said the tax department would launch prosecution proceedings in relevant cases from the names of account holders given by foreign banks


The news headline in Livemint & Hindustan Times reveals latest update on India’s Black Money…… here is the full article

*****  The PIL claims this is a “colossal failure to enforce the law” due to influential politicians in various parties being involved in the offences. *****

New Delhi: Ahead of a Supreme Court hearing on a public interest litigation (PIL) on black money, finance minister Pranab Mukherjee at a press conference on Tuesday detailed the government’s strategy to deal with black money and said the tax department would launch prosecution proceedings in relevant cases from amongst names of account holders given by foreign banks.

Pranab Mukherjee, Indian politician, current F...

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The government has the names of account holders in Liechtenstein’s LGT Bank and information given by German banks.

Mukherjee refused to name account holders citing secrecy clauses attached to legal frameworks with different countries which are used to obtain information on Indian account holders in foreign banks.

The information, however, has been given to the Supreme Court in a “sealed envelope,” Mukherjee, said. The names would be revealed when the tax department launches prosecution proceedings in relevant cases, he added.

The Supreme Court on 27 January resumes hearing a PIL on black money being held in European banks by Indians, initiated by senior lawyer Ram Jethmalani along with some former civil servants, who want the court to examine the issue as well as the falling standards of administration on the part of the government.

The PIL claims this is a “colossal failure to enforce the law” due to influential politicians in various parties being involved in the offences.

According to Mukherjee, the press conference had its roots in a suggestion by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asking the finance ministry to place in public domain the strategy to deal with black money. Singh had made the suggestion during a recent cabinet meeting which discussed amendments India had signed with its tax partners to elicit information on foreign bank accounts of Indians.

During a hearing on 19 January, the Supreme Court took a tough position against the union government, asking it why it was not disclosing the names of Indian citizens who allegedly stashed away large sums of unaccounted money in European banks from 2002 to 2006.

The main pillar of the government’s strategy to deal with the problem is to amend tax treaties with different countries to allow for information on bank details to be shared.

Indian Money

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According to Mukherjee, a change in international opinion in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis had played a positive role in amending treaties. 

The G-20 countries had decided to jointly take on countries or tax jurisdictions, which were reluctant to share critical information, Mukherjee, said.

sanjiv.s@livemint.com

http://www.livemint.com/2011/01/25144003/Black-Money–Pranab-says-can.html?h=E

http://www.hindustantimes.com/Black-money-Pranab-to-appear-before-Parliamentary-panel/H1-Article1-655117.aspx

The Growing Menace – “Frauds & White-Collar Crime” – by Vinod Khurana


(This paper is an effort to explain that sniffing out frauds is an art and needs a mind-set, which comes through Experience and mere knowledge of accounting principles and standards may not help)

The fertility of man’s invention in devising new scheme of fraud is never ending, the new business methods and the speed, which are making business dynamic, are also making them vulnerable to financial fraud. At the same time technology dependency through ERP application generates unrealistic expectations, where as there is thick fog behind the screen, leaving much to be desired, thus creating ideal environments for the wrongdoers to exploit the weaknesses for their personal gains. Therefore Frauds and White-collar crimes in the corporate sector have been increasing at an alarming pace, which of late was the primary concern at Government Establishments

Fraud is a generic term; No definite, explicit or formal statement can be laid in defining fraud. Fraud, theft, and embezzlement are terms that are often used interchangeably. Although they have some common elements, they are not identical in the criminal law sense. Theft is referred to as larceny- the taking and carrying away of the property of another with the intention of permanently depriving the owner of its possession. In larceny the perpetrator comes into possession of the stolen item illegally. In embezzlement, the perpetrator comes into initial possession lawfully, but then converts it to his or her own use.

Embezzlers have a fiduciary duty to care for and to protect the property. In converting it to their own use, they breach that fiduciary duty. Therefore theft and embezzlement have different legal consequences.
Fraud is intentional deception, commonly described as lying, cheating and stealing. There is no end to the types of frauds that is why, The Indian Penal Code, 1860 has not strictly defined a fraudulent act, even the courts have not explicitly elaborated and have kept it to them selves to interpret. In nutshell, fraud in books of account comes in two major categories, transaction and statement frauds. Statement frauds involve intentional misstatement of certain financial values to enhance the appearance of profitability and deceive shareholders and creditors, which will also benefit the perpetrator indirectly in one way or the other. World Com and Enron are the outstanding examples of this category. Transaction frauds are intended to facilitate the theft or conversion of organizational assets to one’s personal use and the perpetrator is the direct beneficiary. The recent case of Parmalt, an Italian company, which is also the largest dairy product group in Europe, where the management allegedly produced fake bank documents to claim that it possesses Four Billion Euro in cash that was non-existent and the Bank of America denied the authenticity of a document is an example of transaction fraud.

There are varieties of ways the individual might fraudulently steal or embezzle the company’s assets. The size, complexity and ownership characteristics of the entity have a significant influence on fraud risk factor. In large entity focus on effectiveness of those charged with the governance, internal audit function, and formal code of conduct, are important issues, in small entity may be these factors are not applicable. There fore in general, procedure and methods of White-Collar Crime are based on inherent risk prevalent in the system.

We must understand that fraud is no simple conduct. Most of the white-collar crimes are committed for economic reasons. Loose or lax controls and a work environment that does not value honesty, provides the opportunity. Motivations and opportunities are interactive, the greater the economic need, the less weakness in internal controls is needed to accomplish the fraud. The greater the weakness in control, the less motivation is needed. So when one has the motivation and opportunity, it’s the right recipe for the fraud because; it pays to do it, it is easy to do it, it is unlikely that you will get caught. The opportunities to commit fraud are rampant in the presence of loose or lax management or administrative and internal accounting controls at any corporate. These controls become vulnerable by half hearted and inadequate compliance of computerization and ERP applications. The recent years have seen the frauds growing both in size and complexity, at the same time, well-planned fraud is too complicated to be unearthed by any plain investigating agency.

Fraud may surface through an allegation, complaint or discovery, which may be incidental or looked for. The visible part of a fraud transaction may involve a small amount of money, but the invisible portion can be substantial, so don’t let it go if you have suspicion though small. Surfacing fraud by design involves a proactive approach and methodology to discern fraud that looks for evidence of fraud. Financial auditing generally is not intended to search for fraud but to attest that financial statements are presented fairly. Though in the present time, the pressure is mounting on the statutory auditor to look for frauds, but how far they would succeed would depend on individual’s capability, as detecting frauds is a knack and not mere knowledge of accounting standards and practices.

To understand and appreciate the early warning you got to look for missing link in the chain of evidence that brings the insight to the front. A general belief in the auditing profession is “Most frauds are discovered by accident, not by audits or accounting system design.” This has been repeated so many times by so many accountants and auditors that the general public accepts it as a gospel truth. I do not contribute to this belief, but yes there is no commonly accepted fraud detection methodology. It is a mind-set. The mind-set that I am addressing is not of paranoid, who trusts no one and sees evil everywhere. The mind-set that I talk of, can be described as seeing the wholesome and the hole at once, this knack of seeing the wholesome and the hole all at once comes with experience and the right-aptitude, which requires innovative and creative thinking as well as logic of science, which is able to see the wholesome and the hole together to establish the missing links, that brings the insight to the front and provides pragmatic approach to locate the vulnerable area, read the culprit’s mind and then sniff out frauds.

There are large numbers of frauds, which never hit the radar screen and have stealth in built; and at the same time fraud travel to grow geometrically over the period as a learning curve, if not detected on time. Therefore the prevention through right-controls and early detection by professionals with right mind-set could save fortunes.

Ref: http://www.ifaia.org

How to evaluate new brands? (Confessions of a Food Broker)


Coca Cola diet products line-up

Image by Like_the_Grand_Canyon via Flickr

Confessions of a Food Broker… sounds quite odd & unique to name a blog. But this particular article will tell you what exactly one need to notice minute details  & how these details contribute to the purchase decision.

 

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As a food broker, I consistently but carefully add new product lines to my mix. Since my firm doesn’t have 10 reps at this point, I’ve been lucky to be extremely picky about the brands that I choose to represent. Many larger food broker firms have approximately 10 reps, and maintain 70-80 product lines. At that point, it’s challenging to take as much time to evaluate each new brand, and firms are under pressure to maintain a high number of brands.

As a small firm, my priorities are to choose a smaller number of extremely potent brands with high potential for success. This means that when I visit buyers, they get excited about everything that I represent. I say no to many potential clients, and take my time in adding new product lines. I spent more time on selection, so once I commit to something and begin selling it, I can be confident that it has a high chance of success.

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Read More at ……………..

http://confessionsofafoodbroker.wordpress.com

How to evaluate new brands.

 

Factory Automation with industrial robots for ...

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Social purchases turned into Conversations @ www.swipely.com


We turn purchases into conversations

It was really interesting to read about www.swipely.com today in the magazine THE ECONOMIST.

Its amazing to know, as to what extent socialising networks can be influential these days. Swieply sounds like an amazing idea, which, I’m sure won’t take much time to grow beyond the imagination.

Our heartiest Congratulations for Swipely Team efforts in cultivating this amazing concept.

Well, while searching for the actual SWIPELY website, I noticed certain flaws which could hamper away a large number of visitors. I’m sure my suggestion will certainly add value to their business line. There could be potential process Risk which needs to be evaluated on a timely basis for optimal concept output.

Please feel free to comment with your inputs to improve this concept further :-

Screenshot- webpage http://www.swipely.com

e-promotion by ICICI Bank against Phishing mails !!


Kindly make a note of Phishing mails that can hack into your precious bank / Monetary accounts & fetch-out free money.

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I myself had received such mailers from IDBI Bank asking for personal banking details. On the follow-up with Bank’s Top  officials over mail, it was found that the respective hacking bug was blocked & de-activated.

Here are a few Forensic Triggers mention in the web-poster of ICICI Bank, which is pretty much enlightening.

  • The email ID domain might appear to be Bank name / familiar company / friend’s ID.
  • On moving  the cursor onto the sender’s address, it would reveal mis-matching characters in the URL.
  • The padlock (Security protection) icon would be missing.
  • Generally, mailer will mention the urgent step-by-step action required in order to avoid shut-down of account.
  • It will ask for secret information like user ID, passwords, PINs, CVV number, Credit/Debit Card number, vbyv passcode details, etc.

    Money going e-line

    Phishing Mail

 
 
  Dear Customer, You must have heard of ‘Phishing’ ! It is a trap laid by fraudsters through e-mail. If you reply to the e-mail, you might be ‘phished’ of your confidential banking/credit-card details and end up losing your hard-earned money.

The way to protect yourself against phishing is to identify a phishing e-mail. If you suspect an e-mail to be a phishing attempt, forward it to antiphishing@icicibank.com, and delete from your mailbox. Do not respond to such mails.

 
     
 
 
 
For more details on Phishing, please click here.
 
  Sincerely,
ICICI Bank Ltd.
   
 
epromotion against PHISHING by icici Bank

p.s. – Original structure is modified as to suit the formatting.

 

 

Q&A by an Asst. Manager, Forensic Accounting/Audit….a profession that provides VARIETY & requires skillful common-sense & Multi-Tasking !


Q & A session with Matt Sevenoaks, Asst Manager, Forensics @ KPMG.

This reading provides excellent insight to the uncommon path of Forensic Accounting / Audit. Hardly anyone is aware about this fantastic & challenging profession. I’m sure this article would inspire a lot of individuals to follow the info about Forensics.

Forensic Accounting is trigger based logical stream of Accounting & Finance that provides an additional ‘human brain’ touch to the traditional business techniques & practices. It not only engages a professionals’ ability to multi-task & carry out trigger based investigation, but also cultivates his/her CREATIVITY. One needs to be an innovative &  a little creepy thinker to crack a case. “As thy say, you need to step into the shoe of a FRAUDSTER, so as to trap him even before he think of committing the crime!”

Journal of Forensic Accounting

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“Be As Sly As A Fox, But As Innocent As A Lamb.”

Q & A

Name of Employer: KPMG

Location (city): London

Name of Employee: Matt Sevenoaks

Title: Assistant Manager

Department/Division: Forensic

Number of years at firm: 5 years

Number of years in current role: 2 (3 years in audit practice, financial services audit)

Degree (s): Economics and Mathematics BSc from Bristol University.

How did you first decide to enter your industry?

I wanted to train for the chartered accountancy qualification. I wanted a job that provided variety and that was business relevant. Audit would be a good way of doing that, I thought. I also wanted to be in a job that added value to the client.

What first attracted you?

The people. I met a lot of the people at graduate fairs and got a strong impression that it would be a supportive and friendly environment. In audit I knew I’d be working on lots of different teams, so I wanted to be confident that they were people I’d get on with very quickly. I also wanted to progress through a firm and have a career, and knew I’d need support from colleagues, to do things like secondments. I was confident that I’d get that here.

I was attracted to the accountancy qualification because I wanted to gain a professional qualification that would expand my career horizons and offer variety. I wanted something that would add value to me and expand my options, the ACA does this.

What are the typical education requirements?

The requirements are very broad. You need a 2:1 or higher in any discipline to do the ACA. You also need an A in Maths and an A in English at GCSE (please don’t quote me on this, you can confirm the entry requirements on http://www.kpmgcareers.co.uk). Stamina is also important – the ACA qualification is very, very tough. It’s well regarded internationally because it’s so tough. Combining that with doing a day job is quite demanding.

No trend in the degrees people here have done. It’s very broad.

What skills and/or experience are important for success?

We have eight or nine different global skills and behaviours that everyone here needs. Number one is business focus. Being out on an audit talking to a client about the banking industry, you need to be reading the papers so you know what’s going on and stay up to date with current affairs. That adds to your credibility. Number two is building relationships. Working in teams is very important, and you often work alongside the client. Three: making an impact is important. As you progress throughout the firm you’re expected to coach people that are junior to you. Likewise if you have an issue with the client, you need to be able to communicate with some conviction.

Four: leadership is important as need to supervise people and allocate work effectively. As you become more senior you have more and more meetings with the client in which you need to demonstrate strong leadership to increase their confidence in you. Five: problem solving is quite important. There’ll be issues where you’ll need to work out quick work-arounds. For example sending a report if the internet is down at the client’s office. It can also get very technical if you are dealing with clients operating in complex industries such as financial service. Six: you need drive and resilience. Sometimes you’ll be combining your working day with studying at home. You need to take a very a strong positive attitude. Also, you might have engagements where you’re working long hours, or away from home.

You need to make your own way through the firm. It’s such a large organisation — about 11,000 people work here — and there are lots of different departments: tax, audit, forensic and so on. If you’re in audit and you want a secondment in another area, it takes you to make those contacts. Within forensic, when I wanted a secondment, I identified people I needed to speak to, had meetings with them, then spoke with my department. You need to be self-motivated and do things yourself.

What is the typical career path in your industry?

The main trend is to do training for three years and get your qualification. You can’t really do secondments until you’ve passed all your exams. Then you can either move within the firm, or work in another area – work in forensics for example. Lots of people go abroad, while other people work in corporate recovery, corporate finance, etc. Some people leave and work in industry.

The two main paths are to either move into other departments within the firm, or move into industry. Some people from my old office went to work for investment banks.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Variety. If you do push for things and make the right contacts, you can get very varied work. Every six months I present an audit business game to university students. I also take part in a numeracy programme that we run, going through exercises with some secondary school students some lunch times. Working in forensics is also very interesting, checking whether people are working within regulations etc – also quite varied.

What is your least favourite part of the job?

If you want to have that much variety you have to manage your own time a lot. I’m expected to deliver on certain commitments, so I have to inform people that I won’t be available for an hour here or there. You do feel guilty if you have to disappear for an hour here or there when you’re trying to give 100 percent to the job.

How relevant is your education to what you are doing today?

In terms of my experience, Maths and Economics, Economics has helped me get a broader understanding of what I’m doing. In terms of Maths, I can’t really relate things like calculus to what I’m doing, but it makes you more numerate. The things you learn outside of the classroom at university help, like being independent and self-driven. Also socialising, making friends and joining groups. That’s what makes you a good employee. It’s not all about knowing your subject thoroughly. The soft skills I learned help the most.

Can you offer any advice to graduates seeking a career in the accounting profession?

Do your research and make sure you understand what working day is like. The resources are a hell of a lot better than they were when I was doing research six years ago. Find out about the qualification itself. I’d also say speak to people who are already doing it, if you can get in touch with people at the companies, do that. I’m on a contact database so people at university can get in touch with me.

Go to careers fairs where you can speak to someone face to face and get a good idea of the culture from that. The experience can be very different with different firms, even though it’s the same qualification. It’s very important that you can see whether you’d like to work in that environment and whether it’s an employer that you want to work for.

What is something unusual that they might not know?

It may no longer be an issue, but if you live in the regions and don’t request which market sector you want to work in within KPMG, you’re allotted to a department. I wasn’t aware that’s what happened. I then didn’t get to select which area I worked in. In interviews you should ask if it’ll be divided by market, and whether you can choose which area.

In the London office, because it’s so large, that option is built in.

What is your favourite perk?

25 days of holiday and the opportunity to buy a week extra.

courtesy: http://www.vault.com/wps/portal/usa/vcm/detail/Career-Advice/Q&A/Q&A:-Assistant-Manager-at-KPMG?id=4906&filter_type=0&filter_id=0

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